News & Analysis

  1. Chimpanzee_seated_at_typewriter

    Plagiarism in the Internet age: The issue isn’t copying, it’s attribution

    I know I’m playing directly into someone’s hands by writing this, but hey the writer asked for it. During a Washington Post live chat, Internet gadfly Gene Weingarten holds forth on the Benny Johnson plagiarism scandal at Buzzfeed. If you’re just getting caught up, Johnson grabbed full lines from questionable sources ranging from the “kind-of-alright-as-long-as-you-check-the-source” Wikipedia to the hilarious and embarrassing Yahoo! Answers. The plagiarized content was used for the kind of bottom-of-the-barrel listicles that drive…
  3. Los Angeles

    Report: LA’s on the rise as its tech ecosystem sees both deals and dollars swell

    Late last week, CB Insights released a report on the “booming” Los Angeles tech ecosystem. It’s the kind of analysis the research house does so frequently that it’s easy for it to be lost among the noise. But the report’s data was telling in a number of ways, revealing several macro trends that are unique to the LA region and others that have played out similarly on a national basis. CB Insights looks at the maturation of the LA…
  4. dick-costolo-twitter

    Never mind: Turns out Twitter won’t reveal new growth metrics today after all

    Ever since Twitter announced it would join the fraternity of public companies, one of the biggest concerns among Wall Street investors has been its underwhelming monthly active user base, which at last count sat at 255 million, and its even more underwhelming growth rate of that figure. Prior to last quarter when user growth accelerated slightly, the growth rate had been slowing for five consecutive quarters. But many argue that, as a public network where not every user has an…

    The inevitable “Uber for pot” app is here

    Silicon Valley is littered with “Uber for X” companies. There’s “Uber for alcohol,” “Uber for babysitting,” even “Uber for massages.”  With marijuana, both medicinal and otherwise, being legalized all over the country, it was only a matter of time before somebody launched an “Uber for marijuana.” And so we have “Eaze,” an app launching today that allows patients to order medicinal marijuana within minutes on their smartphone. Perhaps more surprising than the existence of the…
  7. omidyar

    Et Tu, Taibbi? No one seems to have noticed the most worrying line in Pierre Omidyar’s new blog post

    Much ado today about Pierre Omidyar’s nine month update on his strategy for First Look Media. Gone is the grand plan to create a stable of digital magazines, and in its place a greater focus on building tools for journalists. Omidyar insists, however, that his two already announced blogs — John Cook’s The Intercept and Matt Taibbi’s unnamed project — will continue as planned. We’ve seen this playbook before of course. A couple of years ago I wrote about…
  8. Christina Garnier

    Tech savvy attorney, turned CA congressional candidate, says she’ll accept bitcoin donations. Obviously.

    In what is becoming an increasingly common strategy for politicians seeking support of the left-leaning Internet community, democratic congressional candidate Christina Gagnier from California’s 35th district (Inland Empire) has decided to accept campaign contributions in bitcoin. Gagnier tells CoinDesk that the decision was influenced by requests from constituents looking to make virtual currency donations, saying: My campaign is particularly focused on meeting voters where they are at, whether that’s showing up on their doorstep to see how I can help…
  9. Radio Free Strawberry

    Mark Ames appears on Sam Seder’s Majority Report to discuss Reason Magazine’s holocaust denial

    This morning, Pando’s Mark Ames appeared on Sam Seder’s Majority Report show — today hosted by Matt Binder and Michael Brooks — to talk about Reason’s holocaust denial and pro-Apartheid coverage. He also discussed “why Holocaust revisionism is important for far right politics, the Kochs and Holocaust deniers and the Libertarian quest to demonize FDR.” The video of the show is below, or you can listen to the audio version here. (For background, read Mark’s Reason exposés  here
  11. spying

    Apple hit with class action suit for spying on iPhone users (Here are the court filings)

    Apple has been hit with a class action suit on behalf of 100 million iPhone users who, allegedly, are being spied on by the phone’s location tracking tools. According to the suit, filed in Federal Court in San Jose by lead plaintiff Chen Ma… In or around September 2012, Apple released iPhone 4 which contains an iOS operating system software that enables iPhone 4 to track its users’ whereabouts down to every minute, record the duration that users stay at any given geographical…
  12. jh

    My Big Break: Jason Hirschhorn on how a 4am email took him from sweatpants to MTV

    When we first conceived the My Big Break series, I immediately thought of Jason Hirschhorn. Given that Jason is one of the best storytellers I know, I just knew he’d have a great story about who (or what) got him started on the road to success.  I was right. In fact, when I call Jason to ask about his “big break” story it turns out he has several. The best one, though — his true big break — is the story of how he went…
  14. Activity Trackers

    My doomed three month love affair with activity trackers

    There’s a tan line on my wrist where a Jawbone UP band was once fastened. On the other side of my desk I see my discarded Fitbit. There’s dust on the strap. “We had some good times, you and I,” I think. But I feel no compulsion to put it on. That’s not who I am anymore. It started gloriously. I found myself enthralled at the end of April, walking around the Pando office with a sleek black Fitbit on…
  15. internet_dating_final

    I’m not freaking out about OKCupid’s “human experiments.” Here’s why you shouldn’t either

    Complaining about Facebook has become almost a sport at this point, but for a couple weeks in June and July, the disdain for the social network hit never-before-seen levels after it admitted to manipulating user emotions by tinkering with its News Feed algorithm. The furor has largely died down, and most Facebook quitters I know have begrudgingly rejoined the service. But it’s opened up a larger conversation about keeping tech firms’ ethically and legally accountable for how they use algorithms or design to…
  16. bijan-sabet-4

    Watch the full PandoMonthy fireside chat with Spark Capital’s Bijan Sabet

    A lot of VCs are full of bluster and bombast, with larger than life personalities informed by working in one of the toughest businesses around. But perhaps befitting an investor based in a land of more modest returns like Boston, Spark Capital’s Bijan Sabet, is a creature of humility. Soft-spoken but brutally intelligent, the early Twitter, Tumblr, and Foursquare investor shared wicked insight on a number of topics at our most recent PandoMonthly in New York, including: what’s kept Boston from becoming…
  18. Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 12.54.55 AM

    Lucy: A loony utopian fantasy of smartening up the human race

    A lot of critics are kicking about the new hit film Lucy because it isn’t scientifically accurate. Jocelyn Noveck of the Associated Press makes the case: So let’s start with the enticing premise of Luc Besson’s “Lucy,” starring Scarlett Johansson: Human beings only use 10 percent of their brain capacity. Imagine what it would be like if we could access all of it? Well, wow. It would be sort of like … nothing new. Because, it turns out, in real…
  19. Home for Sale Sold

    Can the Zillow-Trulia merger finally disrupt the home buying process? Brokers should be terrified to find out

    As if traditional offline real estate brokerages weren’t already looking over their shoulder in fear of online listing portals – and they were – the situation just got markedly worse this morning with the online giant Zillow announcing plans to beef up through the acquisition of its nearest competitor Trulia. The $3.5 billion all stock deal is expected to close in Q1, with Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff expressing doubt that it will face any regulatory pressure. The move will result…
  20. Screen Shot 2014-07-27 at 11.51.21 PM

    As outrage grows, Reason editor rejects proof, denies that magazine denied the holocaust

    Over the past two weeks, Pando’s Mark Ames has written a series of articles exposing the repugnant past of Reason magazine. The timing was appropriate: Reason — the house magazine of American libertarianism — recently backed the “Reboot” conference in San Francisco, an event designed to win more Silicon Valley folks over to the libertarian cause. As Mark explained, by downplaying the movement’s racist history and up-playing its pro-disruption, anti-government side, Libertarianism has attracted growing support in a city where the past is, at best, an…

The Week in Review